UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP)—Tina Charles joined some elite company Tuesday night.
She finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds to tie the record set by Seattle’s Lauren Jackson in 2003.
“I’m honored to be mentioned with her,” Charles said.
The Sun, who won for the eighth time in the last 10 games, held Chicago to 27 percent shooting. It was a welcome sight for coach Mike Thibault, whose team was a day removed from a week-long West coast road trip.
“Can we call it a defensive clinic, not an offensive meltdown?” Thibault said. “This was a game we had to grind out somehow. We didn’t have our legs to shoot the ball. We had to win with defense.”
The Sun shot 36 percent, but made 17 of 21 free throws.
The Sun won the season series from the Sky 3-2. Connecticut earned the tiebreaker should the teams finish with the same record.
“Connecticut understands what’s at stake,” Chicago coach Pokey Chatman said. “They were at home with the feeling they should win every game. We’re at the point of the season where everything matters.”
Connecticut led 46-40 midway through the third period when guard Tan White got two of her game-high five steals on consecutive possessions. They led to four points as the Sun stretched the lead to 50-40.
The Sun led by as many as 16 in the fourth period before Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot made a long jump shot with 40 seconds left to cut the lead to 64-58.
Lawson made two free throws and a layup to seal it.
Connecticut held Chicago to seven points in the second quarter to take an eventual 39-28 lead at halftime. It was the fewest points a Sun opponent scored in a half this season.
Chicago led 21-15 after one period but went scoreless for 4 minutes, 4 seconds. The Sun went on an 11-0 run to take a 26-21 lead.